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Recently developed Tucson rock climbing site is popular winter destination
Finding a foothold

Recently developed Tucson rock climbing site is popular winter destination

A recently developed rock-climbing site in the lower reaches of the Catalina Mountains has become a popular winter destination for climbers when cold weather and snow keep them from popular cliffs higher in the range.

The site, near mile marker 4 on the Catalina Highway, is known among climbers by its quirky name: “Crags Against Humanity.”

“It’s right by the road, and the climbing routes are very close to one another so you can do a lot of routes in a short amount of time,” said Drew Sansom, who climbed at the site one day recently.

Brandon Davis, who joined Sansom on the cliffs, said the area’s location low in the range makes it ideal for winter ascents.

“I like it because you get the morning sun in winter, which makes it warm” Davis said.

Most of the 15 climbing routes at Crags Against Humanity were developed over the past two years by Luke Bertelsen, general manager of the Rocks and Ropes climbing gym, 330 S. Toole Ave., and climber Kemper Brightman.

The development consisted of equipping the routes with bolted climbing anchors to allow for easy placement of protective gear.

Crags Against Humanity, which was given its name by Bertelsen and Brightman, “has become very popular since it was developed,” said Bertelsen, who is also the general manager of The Bloc Climbing and Fitness at 8975 E. Tanque Verde Road.

“We kind of stumbled upon the area about two years ago,” he said. “We were really excited about it because we were seeking out a place for some routes lower on the mountain. There were three routes there (developed by previous climbers) prior to us filling in the area with other routes.”

The longest climbs on the cliff are just under 100 feet in height, Bertelson said.

Technical climbs are designated as class 5, with the rated difficulty increasing as the number after the decimal point increases. The routes range from 5.7 to 5.13 in difficulty.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz

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